It’s more blustery outside than the guy inside that paper sack. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
► Votes are still trickling in at a snail’s pace in Denver, with just 12% of ballots returned as of this writing ahead of Election Day on Tuesday (April 4).
If you are a registered voter in Denver but have not yet cast your ballot — remember that it is TOO LATE to drop it in the mail. Ballots must be RECEIVED by the Denver Clerk and Recorder by 7:00 on Tuesday. CLICK HERE for information on what to do with your ballot or where to find a polling place.
► Former President Donald Trump set a neat record late on Thursday, becoming the first ex-president in American history to be charged with a crime. So, that’s neat.
Trump is likely to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday over criminal charges related to a hush money payment to a porn star. Trump is freaking out as you would expect, though his rhetoric is kind of all over the place. Check out this amusing subject line from an email to supporters:
As Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post, the response from Republicans to Trump’s indictment was expected, but was nevertheless weirdly compatible with the Big Orange Guy’s screeching:
It’s no surprise that House Republicans leaped to Donald Trump’s defense after news of his indictment broke late Thursday. What was striking, though, was how many elected GOP officials now sound like Trump.
“Political Persecution,” Trump alleged in his statement.
“Political persecution,” parroted Reps. Diana Harshbarger (Tenn.), Josh Brecheen (Okla.), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), and Paul Gosar (Ariz.).
“Blatant Election Interference,” Trump announced.
“This is unprecedented election interference,” echoed GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).
“An attempt to interfere in our Presidential election,” echoed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).
“Witch hunt,” complained Trump.
“Witch hunt,” repeated Reps. George Santos (N.Y.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and more, including House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (Minn.).
A few months ago, Republicans seemed almost able to finally pull away from Trump once and for all. But after escaping Trump’s demolition derby, Republicans have instead just hopped back in the car for another round.
In a separate story, The Washington Post answers your questions about what happens next.
► Colorado Public Radio has more on reaction to Trump’s indictment from Colorado elected officials:
► As Colorado Newsline reports, Colorado officials are sounding more hopeful about the state holding on to Space Command HQ after new information about the former President’s decision-making on a move to Alabama:
Many officials, including outgoing Republican Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, expressed concern that Trump’s decision to relocate Space Command to Alabama, which voted for Trump in 2020, was politically motivated. Suthers wrote a letter this month to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall detailing conversations Suthers had with Trump about how he planned to make the decision after he saw the results of the 2020 election.
“When I once again made my pitch to President Trump, he asked me if I was a Republican mayor,” Suthers wrote in the letter. “When I replied that I was, he asked what his chances were of carrying Colorado in the November election. When I said they were ‘uncertain’ he seemed perturbed.”
Suthers said Trump then asked a high-ranking Space Force officer if Colorado Springs is where the headquarters should be, to which the officer replied, “Absolutely, Mr. President.” Trump then reiterated that he wanted to see how the elections turned out before deciding, according to Suthers’ letter.
“He gave me a clue early on that he was probably going to wait until after the election, and made it very clear in my February conversation with him that he wanted to see how the election turned out before he made the decision,” Suthers told Newsline. “I don’t think anything could have been more indicative of the fact that it was a political decision.”
Suthers said Hickenlooper was the one who encouraged him to write the letter after hearing about their conversations.
Donald Trump making decisions based solely on how they could help him politically? Get out of town!
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► Denver Mayoral candidate Lisa Calderón might be in some serious legal trouble amid allegations that she tried to direct resources of a nonprofit she oversees — Emerge Colorado — toward assisting her own campaign. As The Denver Post explains:
Denver mayoral candidate Lisa Calderón, incumbent City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca and a slate of progressive candidates for other council offices are the targets of newly filed campaign finance complaints, alleging the group shared resources from third-party groups in ways that violate the city’s Fair Election Fund rules and City Code.
The complaints allege Calderón illegally coordinated and took non-monetary support from Emerge Colorado, the organization that Calderón leads, and the Democratic Socialists of America. If true, the unreported support, known as in-kind contributions, could put the campaigns over the limits established for candidates using the Fair Election Fund.
The Fair Election Fund, established after voters approved a major overhaul of campaign finance rules in Denver in 2018, provides public matching dollars for small donations to candidates who agree to abide by lower contribution limits.
Lawyers who have assessed the evidence at the heart of those complaints say that the allegations open up the candidates to legal jeopardy. The Calderón campaign has dismissed the allegations as “false and overblown.”
It appears that there may be substantial evidence here — including an audio recording of a meeting in which Calderón speaks openly of her coordination ideas:
John S. Zakhem, an election lawyer in Denver, was stunned by the allegations. If true, it appeared Calderón was “just blatantly breaking the law from what it sounded like on that recording.”
These problems will certainly be front and center if Calderón makes the runoff election for Denver Mayor, but it sounds like they could be a significant problem for her — and Emerge Colorado — regardless of the outcome on Tuesday.
► Republican lawmakers in Colorado continue to throw wrenches into the legislative gears as they pout about being cut off from another pointless filibuster last weekend. As The Colorado Sun reports via its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:
The Democratic majority in the Colorado House is preparing for Republicans to ask that every bill considered in the chamber for the rest of the 2023 legislative session be read at length in protest of a decision last weekend to limit debate on three gun measures.
“We feel that’s going to happen,” House Majority Leader Monica Duran, a Wheat Ridge Democrat, told reporters on Tuesday. “I think we’re prepared.”
Democrats invoked Rule 14, which lets the majority party limit debate on bills to no less than an hour, on Saturday evening. Since then, Republicans have asked for nearly every bill debated by the House on second or third reading to be read at length, time that doesn’t count toward the one-hour limit. (Second reading is when bills get preliminary floor approval, while third reading is when bills get advanced to the other chamber or the governor’s desk.)
There’s no way for Democrats to intervene, as asking for bills to be read at length is a right guaranteed in the state constitution. Most bills are relatively short — maybe a dozen pages — but there are some very long measures still on the docket.
The 2023-24 fiscal year budget bill, for instance, is 622 pages. (Its formal name, coincidentally, is the long bill.) Democrats think it would take about 14 hours for that measure to be read aloud.
That seems low to us. But we will find out soon enough. The House is set to consider the budget next week. Rep. Rod Bockenfeld, a Watkins Republican who has become the GOP’s de facto ask-that-bills-be-read-at-length guy, said he wouldn’t be the one to do it. And House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, a Wellington Republican, said he was hoping to avoid a member of his caucus from doing what even Bockenfeld said he’d be unwilling to do.
Lynch’s comments would be more encouraging if it seemed like he was actually in charge of his micro-minority caucus.
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has more on accolades for Democratic Reps. Joe Neguse and Jason Crow for their success in getting stuff done in the last Congress.
► Governor Jared Polis is leading a trade delegation on a visit to Japan.
► 9News and Colorado Public Radio report on land use and affordable housing discussions in the state legislature.
► Colorado lawmakers are considering a “red flag hotline.”
► Members of the Denver School Board are not pleased that board member Auon’tai Anderson violated multiple school board policies in publicly revealing internal discussions about dealing with gun violence in the wake of recent shootings at East High School.
► Here’s more discussion about the ‘woofs’ in Colorado.
► Former Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters will get a little more time to ponder her future as a pending trial in one of her cases got another delay.
► Jonathan Grace of Colorado Springs is the latest Coloradan to be arrested on charges related to his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.
► The Denver Post reports on new composting rules that take effect in Colorado beginning this weekend.
► Dunderheaded Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that Florida will not participate in an “extradition” request related to Donald Trump’s indictment…never mind that Trump is expected to turn himself in to authorities in New York next week. Cool story, though!
► Let’s all stop listening to Colorado Republicans who claim to be “done” with the Trump cult but then can’t wait to jump right back in the pool.
Say What, Now?
“We are not a democracy.”
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (3/29/23)
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Donald Trump is said to be “shocked” at news of his indictment in New York…nevermind that Trump himself told the world 10 days ago that such an indictment was forthcoming.
► Fox News contributor Larry Kudlow confidently declared on Thursday that Donald Trump would not be indicted in New York…just before Trump was indicted in New Yorlk.
► Well played:
Congrats to Donald Trump on finally winning a majority of votes! https://t.co/ezP55HZgl0
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 30, 2023
► Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) now embraces “earmarks” after spending years railing against the process as “corrupt.”
► Don’t miss the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast:
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On the bright side, Ttump's indictment should give our Colorado Legislature Republicans a new chorus or two to catterwall.
Hasn't Scott "Claims to Be Versatile But Really Only" Bottoms (for the MAGA movement) introduced a House resolution condemning the indictment and offering support to Orange Jesus?